Emperors and Exiles, Facing the Dark
War has risen against Gerome. Ezeer rising in revolt was bad enough, but Tharadon Lords has done so as well. Furious, Gerome sends assassins to take down the Bear of Ezeer and he personally leads his army to Awens. Nothing will stand in his way for crushing the rebellion and making an example of Awens and its king. But neither king, not that of Ezeer nor that of Awens stands alone. More
The storm was above them hot and flickering with lightning, promising dark things to come. Theo stood on the wall top looking down at the army camped below, waiting for the sun and the attack he knew was about to come. Gerome had tried to contact him three times now and he had blocked it out; denied it. He had not thought there would be so many men or such power.
If this came to battle, the warp would reflect off the Norwood barrier and amplify here. His beautiful homeland would be forever warped and changed. The thought made Theo want to cry. His land, his people and all in it would never be the same. Why did it have to be like this.
“It’s what he wants, you know,” Shannon said softly, joining Theo on the wall top.
Theo turned to look at Shannon. The man was himself or seemed to be. The strain, the fragility of the shield was gone. He was strong, calm and upright. Something had changed.
Shannon looked out to the army below.
“What do you mean?” Theo asked, trying to see what the change was.
“He thinks you will not fight back, as the warp will happen if you do, and he knows you will do all you can to avoid it. He uses your wisdom and compassion as tools against you.”
Theo nodded and looked back to the army.
“He is down there,” Theo said.
“You look better.” After a moment Theo asked, “What happened?”
“Jamie took a gamble. It worked well enough for the moment.”
“He give you energy, then?”
“He gave me Oirion.”
They stood at the wall watching the army set in at the base of the cliff.
“Why are they here?” Theo asked. “Does he even truly know who Dave is?”
“He’s been told, but I think he doubts it. He is here for you, Theo. You have betrayed him and your saving the two on the field is what he is focused on. He does not yet understand you have a fortress here; all he sees yet are the ruins or he would be setting up very differently. Hold that as long as you can.”
“I plan to, but I won’t let him up that ramp, either.” He looked up to the sky. “This is bad, Shannon.” He folded his arms over his chest.
“I will do what I can to stop the warp.”
“You tried in the battle of the nomads and I am quite certain there was a warp.”
“Yes. There was, and a terrible one, but in the end I was forced to use the power in the battle. I will deal with this differently. My own strongholds are not so far away, and do not forget you have an army on the way from the kingdom just north of you. They will be here soon.”